West Virginia elected its first openly transgender official. Rosemary Ketchum won a seat on a City Council in the state.
The 26-year-old was elected to the Wheeling City Council after running on a platform addressing affordable housing and opioid addiction.
"I am incredibly grateful to get the opportunity to represent my city," Ketchum said in a statement to CNN. "I hope that this election helps us push the needle in West Virginia so that we can fully embrace the power of culture, diversity, and representation in politics. I ran for office because I believe the job of an elected official is to reflect the values of their community in the actions of their leadership and that is why I am excited to serve."
Ketchum is a member of Wheeling's Human Rights Commission and has served on the board of ACLU West Virginia. She is the associate director of NAMI of Greater Wheeling, an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Ketchum has lived in Wheeling for about a decade and announced her candidacy last year.
"I feel excited to represent inclusivity," she had said in June 2019, "but I'm not making my campaign about my gender identity or anything like that. We have too many systemic problems we have to address."
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